A 71-year-old man perished in a house fire near Ferndale on December 13, and Lake County Sheriff Don Bell provided details of the fatal incident to KGVO News on Wednesday, January 4.

“This is in reference to the Ferndale area death investigation on December 28, 2022,” began Sheriff Bell. “At about 1:00 p.m., the Lake County Sheriff's office received a call requesting a welfare check at a residence in the Ferndale area. Responding deputies investigated and determined that the homeowner was deceased and that there had been a fire in the home.

Sheriff Bell detailed the investigation into the fatal fire.

“Lake County detectives and Deputy Coroners were called to investigate and determined that the fire was contained to one room of the home where the decedent was located,” he said. “The deceased was identified as 71-year-old John P. Stokes of Bigfork.”

Bell said an investigation ensued and provided the results to KGVO News.

“In consultation with the State Fire Marshal and the State Medical Examiner indicates the fire was accidental in nature and caused the death of Stokes,” he said. “The matter is still under investigation and this is the only information being released at this time. The sheriff's office extends our condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Stokes.”

Ferndale is located in Lake County near Bigfork.

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